Sen. Kane: Waterbury-Oxford airport zone fills up with new arrival [Connecticut Post]

April 22, 2014

Article as it appeared in the Connecticut Post

Available space at the Waterbury-Oxford Airport Development Zone will be filled with the impending arrival of Oregon-based Autonomy Technology Inc., (ATI) which is moving into 10,000 square feet near the airport to take advantage of tax incentives.

Andrew McGeever, Oxford’s economic development director, said Monday that ATI and the expected move of another company from within Connecticut, will help add to the town’s tax base. Future arrivals will have to build their own facilities in the development area.

“We foresee Oxford as a hub of development in the western part of the state,” McGeever said in a phone interview after Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced that the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) has approved ATI’s pre-application to be the first business located within the development zone, created last August.

The district was created as part of the bipartisan jobs legislation of 2012 and was pushed by state Sen. Rob Kane, R-Watertown and Rep. David Labriola, R-Oxford.

“We knew that in the long run, the most important thing is that we start creating jobs in Oxford and throughout the region,” Kane said Monday. “This announcement shows that our work is beginning to pay dividends in the form of good jobs.”

“This is good news for Oxford and the entire surrounding region, because it creates new, quality jobs,” Labriola said. “We’re pleased to welcome ATI into the Oxford development zone.”

“I am glad that this new development zone is beginning to show positive results, and I look forward to continuing to work with the Connecticut Airport Authority as a partner in the state’s efforts to propel business growth,” Malloy said in a statement.

The company, which also operates in Alaska and Nevada, will manufacture and distribute medium-voltage switchgear, generator connection systems and cable assemblies to regional customers. As many as 20 new full-time employees will join the Oxford location over the next two years.

Mike Scala, president of ATI and Greg Knowles, the CEO, said in a statement that they are excited about the expansion. “As a native and lifelong resident of Connecticut, I’m proud to be helping restore manufacturing to our State,” Scala said. “This positioning is perfect for ATI in our overall plan for expanding our business and bringing more jobs into the State.”

The proximity of the airport played a part in the company’s decision to come to the zone, said Knowles.

“A lot of us fly in from different areas. I’m coming from the West Coast. It could play an important role,” he said, adding that products could be flown to customers on an emergency basis.

Knowles also touted access to highways.

Commenting that he knew about the zone through acquaintances in the Shelton area, Knowles said the facility should be in operations “any day.”

“This development zone allows the state to harness the high level of general aviation traffic at Waterbury-Oxford Airport and spur economic growth,” added Kevin Dillon, executive director of the three-year-old Connecticut Aviation Authority.

To be eligible for tax incentives equal to five-year, 80-percent abatements on local property taxes and up to 10-year breaks on corporate business-tax credits, companies must be engaged in manufacturing or related R&D; machinery servicing; or other airport-related uses. In 2010, the total economic activity at the airport included 1,670 jobs and more than $235 million in goods and services.